Astell&Kern KANN ALPHA DAP Launched
Astell & Kern is launching its third-generation of KANN digital audio player today, dubbed ALPHA.
Astell&Kern's ALPHA (£1,099) high-res audio player promises the high power output that KANN series is renowned for, but in a compact, portable-friendly design. Additionally, the KANN ALPHA features increased battery life as well as Bluetooth 5.0.
Astell&Kern has rearranged a variety of components, optimised the circuit board as well as apparently miniaturising resistors and capacitors, to shoehorn KANN's potent output in a smaller, more pocket-friendly design while still being able to satisfy even the hungriest headphones.
The redesigned power circuit also resulted in the KANN ALPHA boasting 14.5 hours of battery life, as opposed to KANN CUBE's 9 hours. However, the KANN ALPHA still rocks the CUBE's powerful 12Vrms output via the balanced connection but is the first Astell & Kern player to feature a 4.4mm balanced output headphone port that's completely noise-free, says the manufacturer. Also, we are told that it achieves an excellent crosstalk measurement of 141dB.
Furthermore, the KANN ALPHA is the first Astell & Kern player to feature Bluetooth 5.0. Not only does this offer greater range and a more stable wireless connection, but you also get 24-bit aptX HD and LDAC codec support for improved wireless sound quality.
Naturally, hi-res files are supported up to 32-bit/384Hz PCM and DSD256, along with MQA playback for downloaded MQA audio files and through Tidal. As the KANN ALPHA runs on a customised version of Android 9.0, it supports Android APK so you can install music streaming apps to the player using the Open APP service. This hands you access to Amazon Music, Apple Music, Audible, BBC Radio, Bandcamp, Deezer, Qobuz, Spotify, SiriusXM, Tidal, TuneIn and more, depending on what you have access to in your country, of course.
As sported by the A&futura SE200, volume level, file type and bitrate being played are indicated by the colour-coded LED light surrounding the player's volume wheel.
Rounding off the KANN Alpha's feature set are a 4.1-inch touchscreen display, aluminium body, and 64GB onboard memory that can be augmented up to 1TB via microSD card.
The Astell&Kern KANN ALPHA is priced £1,099 and will be available from October 2020.
StereoNET UK’s Editor, bass player, and resident rock star! Jay’s passion for gadgets and Hi-Fi is second only to being a touring musician.
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